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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

THE  MISFOSTTJJSJBS UF
Contemporary with Rup Ram, two other wealthy families resided at Bar-
sana and were his rivals IE magnificence. The head of the one family was
Mohan Ram. a Lavania Brahman ; and of the other Lalji, a Tantia Thakar.
It is said that the latter was by "birth merely a common labourer, who went off
to Lakhnaa to make his fortune. There he became first a harkara, then a
janaadar, and eventually the leading favourite at court. Towards the close of
his life he begged permission to return to his native place and there leave some
permanent memorial of the royal favour. The Kawab not only granted the
request, but farther presented Mm with carte "blanche on the State treasury for
the prosecution, of his designs. Besides the stately mansion, now much dilapi-
datedj he constructed a large fadolL still in excellent preservation, and two wells?
sunk at great expense in sandy tracts where previously all irrigation, had beea
impracticable.
The sacred tank on the outskirts of the town called Priya-kund? or Plri-
pokhar, TOS faced with stone by the Lavaniyas. who are further commemorated
by a large katra. or market-place, the rains of the vast and elaborate mansion
where they resided, and the elegant stone ckhatiris at the foot of the till. They
held oiSce under the Baja of Bharat-pur, and their present representative. Ram
l\arayan; is now a Tahsildar in that territory.
Barsana had scarcely been built, when, by the fortune of war, it was des-
troyed beyond all hope of restoration, as has already been related in Chapter II
of this memoir a page 42. As if this blow were not enoughj in the year 1812 it
sustained a further misfortunej when the Gauraa TMknrs, its zamindars, being
in circumstances of difficulty and probably distrustful of the stability of British
rule, then only recently established, were mad enough to transfer their whole
estate to the oft-quoted Ltila Baba for the paltry sum of Us* 602 and the condi-
tion of holding land on rather more favourable terms than other tenants. The
parish HQTV yields Government an annual rental of Rs. 3,109 and the absentee
landlords about as much, while It receives nothing from them in return. Thus
the appearance now presented by Barsana is a most forlorn and melancholy one.
The hill is still, to a limited extent, known as J&rakma-kd-pahdr or Brahma's
hill : and hence It may "be inferred with certainty thai Barsana Is a corruption
of the Sanskrit compound Srahma-sanu^ -which bears the same meaning. Its
four prominent peaks are regarded as emblematic of the fear-faced divinity,
and are each erowned with some building'; the first with the group of temples
dedicated to Larli Ji, the other three with smaller edifices,, known respectively
as the Man-mandir7 the Dan-garb, and the Mor-kuttL A second Mil, of less
79